Against the backdrop of a retirement village, comes the horrifying tale of Sydney Smith, born into a family that had worshipped Satan for four generations, In Gilded Tombs, tells how he was sexually abused by the Master and initiated into the cult as a small boy, watched by his mother, who did nothing.

Controlling people gave him power and led to the only reason for his existence – money.  

Blood found on rocks proved to be human… Recent deaths in the village were not due to natural causes. Brenda was under suspicion. How could she warn residents of the murderer amongst them and prove her innocence.  

Love, compassion and loyalty bolster the grieving against murder, greed and corruption.

In Store Price: $AU23.95 
Online Price:   $AU22.95

ISBN: 1-9211-1823-7
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 226
Genre:  Fiction


Author: Kathleen Joyce Will 
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2006
Language: English


About The Author    

The author was born in Parramatta NSW, a fourth generation Australian.  

She married and farmed in the Bingara District of NSW.  

After severe drought, the family moved to Townsville in 1968 where they became involved in the tourist industry.  

Kathleen is a mother of three children and grandmother of five and writing has always interested her. She worked in Sydney for ten years; one place of employment was with the Australian Women’s Weekly where cadetships were offered to interested staff.


Satan Worshippers


All that glisters is not gold;

Often have you heard that told;

Many a man his life has sold

But my outside to behold;

Gilded tombs do worms enfold.

- William Shakespeare


On the twentieth floor of a luxury apartment overlooking the Brisbane River , not far from the CBD, Sydney Smith, wearing only wrap-around sunglasses, reclined on a padded cane lounge bathed in sunshine. He gazed down at the busy river traffic. City catamarans skimmed by in their uniforms of white, blue and gold carrying people to work, the locals shopping and tourists to their various destinations. Yachts with relaxed sails lazily made their way to Moreton Bay . Busy little ferries went from one bank to the other collecting commuters. Launches and speed boats passed luxury cruisers tied up at a boat builder’s yard.

Stroking his body, a smile of satisfaction crossed Sydney Smith’s face. Muscles rippled as he moved, glistening under his oiled suntan. His black moustache stuck out like wings. A sea breeze gently lifted and played with his dark, wavy hair.

All his plans were coming to fruition.

His manservant, Frederick, approaching from the interior of the penthouse, a garment over one arm, interrupted his reverie. ‘Master, I have prepared for the black mass.’

Sydney Smith ignored his manservant, who, familiar with his master’s discourtesy, was not fazed.

Frederick, a student of psychology, found his employer’s attitude interesting. The job, although weird, suited him for the time being; it gave him flexibility and his own living quarters with separate entrance from the lift vestibule.

Sydney Smith slipped into the red silk-lined black satin gown held for him. After adjusting it over his suntanned shoulders, he strode down the steps into a large, dimly lit sunken lounge room. The only light came from a collection of black candles burning on a table in the centre.

Suddenly, a blinding red light illuminating a large, leering, devil-goat mask attached to the main wall came into play. Sydney crossed to this large mask and, after placing over his head a similar one, sat beneath it. A woven basket nearby held a tidily folded slumbering snake.

Frederick opened the internal doors into the penthouse and welcomed Satan worshippers with amphetamines. After taking the tablets, they crept across to seat themselves on the floor around the table that held the candles. The flickering flames highlighted eagerness as they looked towards the Master, who, rising abruptly, gave a Hitler-style salute and threw off the silk cape. He was almost nude except for a large fat carpet snake named Medusa, which had been awakened from her sleep and was now curled around his waist and looped over one shoulder.

A mocking smile crossed the Master’s lips but did not reach his eyes – they were without emotion. As he held the snake’s head in one hand, its tongue flickered in an aggressive manner. This was only an act as the snake was a gentle creature who always sought peace and quiet. Medusa knew she had to put on an act to earn her mice.

The congregation followed the Master’s example by removing their clothes. They stood naked, slipping on demon-type masks, and, to the beat of a drum, pranced around, writhing and twisting their bodies in a lewd way as the drugs took effect. They could have stepped out of a painting by Bosch.

Dramatically the Master flung up his arms with Medusa hanging onto his shoulders, and stood with legs wide apart. He was an imposing sight, with his well-developed tanned body, acquired over the years through strenuous exercise, ray lamps and courses of steroids.

The women sucked in their breath as they viewed him with lust sparkling in their eyes.

Sydney stared from behind the goat-devil’s mask at the figures before him with contempt, noting some fat and anorexic figures. It had been a mistake to demand that people dance in the nude. They were not a pretty sight: devil-worshippers with hollow chests, rounded shoulders, knock-knees and flabby stomachs prancing around in devils masks – they looked ludicrous. They would not instil fear in anybody.

Beating the gong hanging beside him, the Master called for the meeting to commence.

‘Our monthly blood sacrifice ceremony the other night at the local cemetery went well. Rudolph brought a dog. Your reward will be in hell where flames will not consume you, Rudolph. Has anybody anything else to report?’

 The donor of the dog exclaimed: ‘I’ve been sleeping very well since I brought the neighbour’s dog for sacrifice. I don’t have to put up with its yapping at night that almost drove me mad.’

A thin woman whose bones, outlined under her very pale skin, almost translucent, gushed, ‘I had such a rush of adrenalin, I was so scared and revolted by the cries of the animal that I was on a high for hours. I have two friends, Master, a married couple, who would like to join our group. They are seeking excitement as their lives have become very dull.’

‘How old are they?’

‘I think … they could be nearing sixty.’

‘No! No, no!’ screamed Sydney Smith, shaking a fist at his congregation. ‘I don’t want old people near me with their decaying, shrinking, wrinkly, dried-up bodies and dribbling mouths. Exterminate them before they get to that stage. They live too long, hanging onto money and property that others could be enjoying – taking up space on our already overcrowded planet.’ His eyes blazed with anger and his chest heaved. The congregation stared, struck dumb by this outburst. ‘I hate old people.’

Glaring at the congregation, he studied each one in turn. He now needed sex to relieve his pent-up anger and sought a partner. Not a woman, a man this time as his eyes settled on a young dark-skinned youth who had been living on the streets until Sydney invited him to his place to spend the night. The youth had become a permanent resident. Striding across the room the Master grabbed him by the arm and pulled him into a nearby bedroom. This was the signal for bodies still under the influence of drugs to resume frenetic dancing and other wild activities.

Medusa, who found the vibrations and noise upsetting, slithered out of the lounge room to look for peace and quiet in one of her favourite spots on the balcony among the Ali Baba-size pots that had a variety of shrubs growing in them. The shaded area was quiet and cool. Winding herself around one of the pots, Medusa tasted the air with her flickering tongue, and finding that all was well, went to sleep.


A new day was evident as flights of birds headed out to sea for a day’s fishing. A street cleaner rumbled by with brushes awhirl cleaning the gutters, boys on bicycles delivered newspapers, and amorous cats headed home for sleep.

Within Sydney Smith’s apartment, Frederick , wearing rubber gloves, a black apron over black trousers and white shirt, entered the lounge room armed with bucket, dustpan and brush. Stepping over inert naked bodies, he emptied ashtrays, collected glasses, plates and bottles, and picked up scraps of food, paper and condoms. He blew out the flickering flames of the black candles, whose grease had dropped onto the hair of a slumbering guest. After brushing into the pan crumbs from chips, crackers and sandwiches, he surveyed the scene before him and smiled when he saw Medusa curled up on the stomach of a very overweight man.

 Crossing to the windows, Frederick drew back the curtains – slowly so as not to wake his Master’s guests – to reveal a new day.

 The Master had departed the penthouse hours before.


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